Pioneer history

History of Pioneer

Pioneer has a rich legacy of over 90 years. Learn more about our history & the evolution of our brand under Corteva Agriscience.

2018
Corteva Graphic of Coreteva Agriscience logo

Corteva Agriscience™

Corteva Agriscience™, agriculture division of DowDuPont, brand unveiled.

2015
Corteva MergerOfEquals

Merger of equals

Dow and DuPont announce a definitive agreement under which the companies will merge, then subsequently spin off into three independent companies.

1999
DuPont InvestingInPioneer

Investing in Pioneer

DuPont becomes 100 percent owner of Pioneer.

1996
Pioneer GenomicsInCorn-Timeline

Genomics in Corn

Pioneer is the first to start a genomics effort in corn.

1991
Pioneer pioneer-images

#1 in soybeans

Pioneer becomes the number one brand of soybeans in North America.

1981
Pioneer Pioneer corn field

Corn Market Leader

Pioneer becomes the seed corn market share leader in North America.

1970
Pioneer pioneer-images

Changes at Pioneer

The company changes its name to Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., and establishes a separate overseas subsidiary.

1957
Pioneer Pioner Seed Corn graphic label

York Nebraska Research Center Opens

Pioneer opens York, Nebraska research center to enhance research efforts focused on improving drought tolerance in corn.

1952
Pioneer Pioneer Long Look

The “Long Look”

The “Long Look” business philosophy is written

1949
Pioneer Pioneer corn supply in  warehouse

Pioneer® hits a million

Annual sales of Pioneer® brand seed corn in North America pass the million-unit mark.

1941
Pioneer Henry Wallace with President FDR

US Vice President

Pioneer’s Henry Wallace is elected US Vice President under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

1935
Pioneer pioneer-images

Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company

The company changes its name to Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company.

1926
Hi-Bred pioneer-images

The start of Hi-Bred Corn Company

Founder Henry A. Wallace incorporates the Hi-Bred Corn Company, ushering in a new era of farmer acceptance of hybrid corn

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1926 Henry A. Wallace incorporates the Hi-Bred Corn Company.

No person was more important to commercialization and farmer acceptance of hybrid corn than Henry A. Wallace, the founder of what has become DuPont Pioneer. He was one of a handful of people in the world who initially recognized the immense opportunities that could be gained by growing hybrid corn. Wallace began experimenting with corn in high school with the goal of developing a hybrid that would produce high grain yield. At age 16, he field-tested prize-winning show corn against corn less beautiful in appearance. The results challenged conventional thinking at the time by demonstrating there was no relationship between yield and appearance of the ears.

Wallace attended Iowa State College, graduating in 1910. While in college, he became fascinated with the relatively new science of genetics. After graduation, Wallace began working on corn-breeding experiments and started breeding hybrid corn in 1920 after visiting Edward East and Donald Jones at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. The mathematically inclined Wallace taught himself statistics and applied it to his experiments. By 1923, he had produced a high-yielding hybrid he called Copper Cross. In 1924, it became the first hybrid to win the gold medal in the Iowa Corn Yield Contest conducted by Iowa State.